Obama Fires GM CEO

President Obama – or his administration, if that makes difference – has just “fired” the CEO of General Motors (GM). In an act of direct governmental control over a private American corporation Obama has required that that Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors step down.

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

Wagoner’s departure is one of the remarkable strings attached to a new aid package the administration plans to offer GM.

The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government’s behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.

On Monday, President Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler.

Industry sources had said the White House planned very tough medicine, which turned out to be an understatement. And it went to the very top. The measures to be imposed by the government will have a dramatic effect on workers, unions, suppliers, retirees and the communities where plants are located, the sources said.


Political Correspondent for Politico

I can’t really say that this is other than a very, very bad sign that President Obama is fully prepared to use whatever means are at his disposal to enable the federal government to “take charge” of any portion of America that they can manage to get a hold of.

It has to be said though that President Bush willfully and foolishly set this up when he sidestepped Congress in order to bail-out the Big Three American automobile manufacturers.

This is the problem with accepting money from the government; you’re then beholden to them and they can – in the Liberals’ case they will – start exercising direct control over your actions. This is especially true for large and/or important industries and ones that the current party controlling the administration don’t favor.

And, of course, removing GM’s CEO is just the beginning of the “Change” to be wrought in the coming months.

We are anticipating an announcement soon from the Administration regarding the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. We continue to work closely with members of the Task Force and it would not be appropriate for us to speculate on the content of any announcement.

— GM Spokesman

Rick Wagoner had been CEO for 8 years and at GM for more than 30. At the time of this post it is unclear if Wagoner will be replaced or if GM will be directly controlled by the US government from this point forward. President Obama’s Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry has clarified what their ongoing role is going to be or how involved they’ll be in the operations of GM, Ford and Chrysler.

Once again, it has to said that President Bush provided the precursor for this when, in September 2008, he had AIG CEO Robert Willumstad step down as part of an $85 billion bailout.

Automotive industry sources say that the measures to be imposed by the government upon the US auto industry will have a profound effect on workers, unions, suppliers, bondholders, shareholders, retirees and the communities where plants are located. Whether or not those profound effects are positive or negative remains to be seen.

Well, shortly Americans will find out – though too late to make a difference – if they still have an American Automotive Industry or if they have the People’s Automotive Collective – managed in their name by the government of course. 😉

Related Reading:

Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery (Obama Biden Mysteries)
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism
The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
Amongst the Liberal Elite: The Road Trip Exploring Societal Inequities Solidified by Trump (RESIST)

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27 Responses to “Obama Fires GM CEO”

  1. Phil Says:

    What’s the point of this post? Seriously.

    Do you oppose bailing out the auto industry? If so, what do you propose?

    If not, do you think we should give them another billion dollars and have faith that everything will work out this time?

  2. jonolan Says:

    What was the point of your comment? Seriously.

  3. Phil Says:

    What was the point of your comment? Seriously.

    I would dodge those questions if I were you too.

  4. KBM Says:

    Yeah…must agree with Phil here, Jonolan. We have enough doomsdayers out there right now – just turn on Fox News. Pointing out there are major problems with the bailout crises isn’t exactly a blinding revelation, and insinuating that the US government is going to take control of our lives a la USSR is a bit of a stretch, not to mention unnecessarily provocative. It’s nice that you can quote from the paper, but let’s not start throwing stones just yet, Mr. Hannity.

    And a thirty year career does not a good executive make. Someone needed to kick him to the curb.

  5. jonolan Says:

    You call it doomsaying and overly provocative; I call it a simple prediction based on the current evidence and the long-standing predilections of the politicians and ideologues involved, KBM.

    I am absolutely committed to working with Congress and the auto companies to meet one goal: the United States of America will lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars.

    President Obama
    March 30th Press Conference

    This simple statement shows that Obama and his Liberals are interested in far more than a financial restructuring of the Big-Three; they want control over the industry and are willing to our tax dollars and legislation in order to get it.

    The installation of Frederick “Fritz” Henderson as Wagoner’s replacement further strengthened this predictions since Henderson led GMs Central and South American business units and specialized in manufacturing small, inexpensive cars such as the Celta subcompact and the Meriva microvan, both of which are produced in Brazil.

    But – on the bright side and contradictory to one of my predictions – they were allowed to install a new CEO, at least in the interim, instead of just having the board report to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry.

  6. Johnny Smith Says:

    First off, the very people complaining about Rick Waggoner’s exodus are the same ones saying that he needed to be fired just a few short months ago.

    Second point: No one fired Rick Waggoner. GM getting any more government assistance was based on his resignation, but he wasn’t fired. He was given several months to formulate a viable plan to make GM competitive. He failed… badly.

    Third point: GM stock lost 96% of it’s value under Rick Waggoner, and over $77 billion in just the past few years. Do you honestly see a successful restructuring of GM, with the company becoming profitable, with Rick Waggoner at the helm?

    Fourth point: Rick Waggoner accepted a $26 million dollar severance bonus, so it’s kind of hard to feel any more pity for him than it was for those AIG executives. What do you think the displaced auto workers will receive?

    The gist of it is this. Rick Waggoner wasn’t fired. The government did base any conditions on further aid to the auto giant on his resignation, which the president was well within his right to do, in an attempt to shelter us taxpayers. As he said, an unsuccessful restructuring attempt is merely throwing good money after bad.

  7. jonolan Says:

    You’re technically correct, Johnny; Wagoner wasn’t fired, his resignation was just required if GM was going to continue. Of course that is the sort of “correctness” that is reminiscent of the Soviets’ perfectly correct assertion that problematical officers committed suicide – with the Markorovs provided form them 😉

    A nice Liberal spin on the issue though; you’ll do well under Obama’s rule.

    Yes, it is arguable that Obama is within his “rights” to force any company seeking federal assistance to bow to his will. He has of course the might – our money in this case – so he must be right.

    It just doesn’t bode for America’s future…

  8. Josh Brandt Says:

    They might not have told him to step down, but, in essence, they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

    The choke hold the government is putting on these companies, with the people’s taxes I might add, is ridiculous. The government needs to take their hands out of the private sectors pockets, and deal with their own issues. They’re overstepping their bounds Big Time.

    Until Obama can successfully build a cabinet he might want to stop trying to build cars.

  9. Phil Says:

    The choke hold the government is putting on these companies, with the people’s taxes I might add, is ridiculous. The government needs to take their hands out of the private sectors pockets, and deal with their own issues.

    You mean the private sector needs to stop coming to the government looking for enough money to pay its bills rights? I don’t recall the Obama, or Bush for that matter, hatching some nefarious plot to take over the auto industry. I can guarantee you there’s plenty of other things the government would rather do instead of artificially propping up GM.

    This simple statement shows that Obama and his Liberals are interested in far more than a financial restructuring of the Big-Three; they want control over the industry and are willing to our tax dollars and legislation in order to get it.

    The installation of Frederick “Fritz” Henderson as Wagoner’s replacement further strengthened this predictions since Henderson led GMs Central and South American business units and specialized in manufacturing small, inexpensive cars such as the Celta subcompact and the Meriva microvan, both of which are produced in Brazil.

    First, Henderson was the COO of GM and next in line to replace Wagoner. Its not like they randomly pulled this guy out of nowhere to advance its nefarious agenda

    Second, Obama’s plan, at least according to Senate Republicans, is very similar to the plan they released in December. Are you suggesting that they want to secretly take over the auto industry too?

    Third, where is this evidence that democrats secretly wanted to take over GM? The only thing Obama’s statement says is that he wants to work together with manufacturers to create clean cars. That’s an AWFUL big leap in logic even for you.

    You know what, I”m not even going to ask you for proof, because I know you don’t have any. You’ll probably just prattle something about liberals and then call me a communist or something.

  10. The Paranoia That is he Republican Party « Cognitive Dissonance Says:

    […] Jonolan reads this he interprets it: This simple statement shows that Obama and his Liberals are interested […]

  11. jonolan Says:

    Yes, Phil, we all know you love Obama and what he’s doing; you’ve made it clear that your faith is strong and you have taken his agenda / gospel to heart.

    Tell me though – do you really think that the government should be telling any private company how to run their businesses insofar as who runs them and what they produce, how they produce it, and where they produce it – or whether or not Chrysler will sell itself to a foreign company and under what terms it will do so.?

    You mention in your diatribe / post above that you see it differently then I, but you don’t really from what I can see. You just approve of Obama deciding what types of cars GM will build.

    But yes, Phil; on one point you’re right:

    You mean the private sector needs to stop coming to the government looking for enough money to pay its bills right?

    The Big-Three came to the government – in the wake of the ill-advised TARP bail-out – asking for help and didn’t look too closely at what they’d actually be getting. I believe I mentioned that.

    This is the problem with accepting money from the government; you’re then beholden to them and they can – in the Liberals’ case they will – start exercising direct control over your actions.

    Oh yeah – I did, Comrade (definitely not Tovarisch).

  12. jonolan Says:

    A quick follow-up

    I have to say that not all of Obama’s agenda concerning the American auto industry is bad. His promise that the government would back or support the warranties on these cars in the event of any of the firms collapsing is a very good idea, as is – to a lesser extent – his promise to allow people to claim parts of their car payments as deductions on their taxes.

    Of course it would have been better if he’d done so sooner, but – to be fair – I’m not 100% sure he could have; the government has a pace that it works best at and this timing could have been unavoidable.

  13. Phil Says:

    Jono

    All you ever do is assert without facts and the arguments of others. After all this writing you haven’t responded to one point or answered one question I asked you.

    I, however, am not afraid of answering questions so here you go:

    Tell me though – do you really think that the government should be telling any private company how to run their businesses insofar as who runs them and what they produce, how they produce it, and where they produce it – or whether or not Chrysler will sell itself to a foreign company and under what terms it will do so.?

    1. I absolutely believe the government should have input on how private businesses operate. Its called regulation, ie oversight. After all, the private sector is still subject to the jurisdiction of the government.

    Here’s a simple example. I believe that banks who provide insurance, credit default swaps, should be held to the same standards as insurance companies. Meaning they have to have enough money to cover all of their guarantees. This is also known as doing what AIG didn’t do.

    I also supported the legislation requiring automobiles to have seat belts. Another example of “big brother” telling Detroit how to operate.

    2. Chrysler was already in advanced talks to merge with Fiat. If you simply type the words “fiat, chrysler” into google a series of articles which post date Obama’s plan by months will immediate pop up.

    2a. Considering the fact that Chrysler was about to go bankrupt I’m especially fine with this plank of the plan.

    3. When your product creates an externality that is harmful to the general public, then the government certainly has a right to regulate your business. In fact, thats the exact kind of overarching threat, which is too big for States, that the government is supposed to get involved in.

    4. Governments tell private businesses where to operate all the time. Its called zoning, and little known fact…they do it in red states to. This explains why you don’t see very many strip clubs across the street from elementary schools.

    Of course, what right does the government have to tell a strip club that it can’t operate in the vicinity of children? What is this, the Soviet Union?

    I could go on forever, but I’ll leave it at that. But here’s the problem I have with your arguments

    You don’t have any arguments. Not trying to be rude, but you really don’t. Of course you have theoretical objects based on your general principles, but that doesn’t mean squat when it comes to debating the specific aspects of this proposal

  14. jonolan Says:

    As I expected, you chose wonderfully crafted pseudo-arguments to further your agenda. You really must be good at your job as a political marketeer – really.

    Yes, a certain level of regulation is good and proper; I don’t dispute that. What is improper is the government telling any industry what they will produce.

    This isn’t seat belts – or zoning, or any other of your political marketing talking points – and you know it. It’s a mandate to change the nature of the auto-industry by Lex Obama, since he knew he couldn’t get the legislation passed to do it under the normal course of American law.

    …And of course you’re trying to be rude. Picking a specific target and marginalizing it is political marketing 101 – straight out of Alinsky’s guidebook for Liberals and Socialists.

  15. Phil Says:

    so basically you’re complaining because my arguments are too good?

    Anywho, this is what you said:

    Tell me though – do you really think that the government should be telling any private company how to run their businesses insofar as who runs them and what they produce, how they produce it, and where they produce it – or whether or not Chrysler will sell itself to a foreign company and under what terms it will do so.?

    Your original point very clearly dealt more with general government regulation instead of “forcing” them to produce a certain product.

    But on that point, your argument is incorrect.

    First, the President isn’t requiring GM or Chrysler to produce energy fuel efficent cars. That has absolutely nothing to do with the federal assistance the two companies are receiving. He simply used the term clean cars in a predictive sense to indicate where America’s manufacturers are heading. Merely mentioning clean cars doesn’t mean anything just like mentioning a future independence from foreign oil, doesn’t mean the president is forcing the auto makers to make hybrid cars.

    Here’s the full passage you cited:

    What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognize that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts. Only then can we ask American taxpayers who have already put up so much of their hard-earned money to once more invest in a revitalized auto industry. But I am confident that if we are each willing to do our part, then this restructuring, as painful as it will be in the short-term, will mark not an end, but a new beginning for a great American industry; an auto industry that is once more out-competing the world; a 21st century auto industry that is creating new jobs, unleashing new prosperity, and manufacturing the fuel-efficient cars and trucks that will carry us toward an energy independent future. I am absolutely committed to working with Congress and the auto companies to meet one goal: the United States of America will lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars.

    No one can deny that our auto industry has made meaningful progress in recent years. Some of the cars made by American workers are now outperforming the best cars made abroad. In 2008, the North American Car of the Year was a GM. This year, Buick tied for first place as the most reliable car in the world. And our companies are investing in breakthrough technologies that hold the promise of new vehicles that will help America end its addiction to foreign oil.

    Clearly he’s talking about clean cars in a general sense. But hey, if i’m wrong show me where in his plan Obama requires GM and Chrysler to produce fuel efficient cars. Maybe I missed it. if you’re right it should be easy to find concrete proof. Again, CONCRETE proof, not your “creative” interpretation of what you think he meant.

    Second, The government isn’t forcing auto manufacturers to produce a different product. They’re requiring that they produce a cleaner product. Big difference.

    As I stated before, when a company produces a product that produces a dangerous externaility then the government is obligated to pass laws limiting the damage. This is why power plants can’t just dump pollution into the air or why we’re banning chlorofluorocarbons emissions

    So yes, I think the government should be doing it, since it is their job.

  16. in2thefray Says:

    Phil . I’m too angry to type right now………………

  17. Phil Says:

    Phil . I’m too angry to type right now………………

    So…

  18. jonolan Says:

    in2thefray,

    Don’t bother letting Phil anger you with his anti-Americanism. He gets off on that sort of thing. Since he was – probably still is, but I don’t have proof – a professional Liberal political operative whose job it is to marginalize and hopefully silence real Americans it behooves us to not let him and his ilk win in even the slightest matter.

    Remember, he’s trained to identify, marginalize, and anger his enemies and the enemies of his cabal. Phil is well-schooled in such things and in presenting falsehoods and semi-truths in a manner meant to both deceive and to goad otherwise reasonable people into words and/or actions that allow them to be discounted by the majority.

  19. Phil Says:

    Don’t bother letting Phil anger you with his anti-Americanism. He gets off on that sort of thing. Since he was – probably still is, but I don’t have proof – a professional Liberal political operative whose job it is to marginalize and hopefully silence real Americans it behooves us to not let him and his ilk win in even the slightest matter.

    Remember, he’s trained to identify, marginalize, and anger his enemies and the enemies of his cabal. Phil is well-schooled in such things and in presenting falsehoods and semi-truths in a manner meant to both deceive and to goad otherwise reasonable people into words and/or actions that allow them to be discounted by the majority.

    Actually, I’ve worked for more Republicans than democrats. Pretty conservative one’s too. Guess they taught me too well.

    By the way, last time I checked you’re not the arbiter that determines what “is” and “is not” American. I can’t think of anything stupider than calling someone “anti-American” because they disagree with your political views.

    Besides, last time I checked the makeup of Congress, the majority of Americans align closer to my political views than yours buddy.

  20. jonolan Says:

    Yes, Phil – but somewhere along the way you decided to adopt the Liberals’ agenda and their methods.

    Why you choose to exercise them here I don’t know though. It’s not like this blog is one that normally qualifies for professional attentions from the enemies of America.

    I suppose I should be flattered, but I’m guessing this is more of a masturbatory hobby on your part. 😉

  21. Phil Says:

    You do know that just calling me a liberal doesn’t disprove any of my points right? In fact it actually proves that you’re incapable of defending your assertions or rebutting my arguments.

    Of course, the ironic part is that you’ll probably try to wave this all away by saying you “refuse to engage in my liberal propaganda” or some other snide dismissive remark that basically means “I got nothing”

    Its cool though.
    Happy Easter.

  22. jonolan Says:

    Well, it’s true, Phil – “you got nothing.”

    Your entire argument is based on an underlying premise of the appropriateness of government intervention into the private sector that is for more invasive than is supported by the values of America.

    Your facts aren’t what is wrong. What is wrong is the values you hold, apply to those facts, and the conclusions you draw from them.

    It’s expected though,
    Blessed (Belated) Oestara.

  23. Phil Says:

    If YOU make the argument that government should be banned from the private market YOU have to support that argument not me. You can’t just pull assertions from your ass and say “prove me wrong.”

    And considering the fact that we live in a world where both republicans and democrats support the govt having some say in the free market, the burden of proof is even greater on you to argue why the status quo is wrong.

    This is basic argumentation and reasoning 101. Haven’t you ever take a logic class?

  24. jonolan Says:

    Sounds a lot like you think I owe you something, Phil. Of course that “gimme, gimme” handout mentality is part and parcel to your kind’s makeup, isn’t it Phil? That believe that people have the positive “right” to the fruits of other people’s labor sort of colors your whole being, doesn’t it?

    But – to answer your rant:

    I think that we can agree that the level and nature of government involvement in- and control over the actions of the private sector is now greater than it has been in the past. Not even the previous Chrysler bail-out involved the level of interference.

    That being the case, I think it can be safely said that I’m arguing in favor of the status quo, not against it. Simple logic bereft of Liberal “newspeak.”

    So, Phil, I believe that you – much like another Obama supporter – have been hoist on your own petard.

  25. Phil Says:

    your last post literally made me laugh out loud

  26. Caitlin Says:

    What Can we common Poeple do about the Bailout? Nothing.. we just have to wait and see if the company comes up and develops new cars and prototypes to please the americal consumer

  27. jonolan Says:

    Or, Caitlin, we can buy Ford cars or Imports – but nothing, nada, zilch from Obama Motors. We can, as a people, refuse to invest in Obama Motors. What we can do is make the bail-out a failure.

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